Boykin as MacArthur?

The editors of the National Review think that Gen. Boykin is a whacko, and insubordinate to boot, and propose that he be sacked forthwith. They draw a parallel with Gen. MacArthur, which only works if you squint at it hard: MacArthur was a military genius and a threat to the democratic order, while Boykin was neither. Still, there it is: NR says Boykin should get the boot.

All in favor? Opposed?

In the opinion of the chair, the “Ayes” have it.

So what’s going on here? How come Boykin still has his job? Is the Bush Administration so afraid of losing the religious bigot vote that it’s paralzyed? (That’s Howard Fineman’s theory.)

And the silence on Boykin’s lunatic ravings from the right side of the Blogosphere has been truly deafening. It’s astonishing — or should be astonishing — that people so willing to slime their opponents with charges of anti-Semitism are so uninterested in actual religious bigotry.

[This doesn’t apply, of course, to Little Green Footballs, which rarely uses a term as neutral as “idolatry” to describe Islam. Even LGF doesn’t try to defend what Boykin said, but it does link approvingly to Hugh Hewitt’s Weekly Standard slime-job on the reporter who brought his nuttiness to light.]

Just in case you’ve been reading any of Boykin’s defenders talking about how he’s being persecuted for expressing Christian beliefs: He said, in reference to a Muslim Somali warlord who expressed confidence that Allah would protect him, “I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol.”

Update here.

Second update Phil Carter at Intel Dump suspects that the editors of National Review rethought their position once it got to be clear that the White House was chickening out. Or perhaps the strain of being right for once was more than their consciences could bear. Note that the quasi-retraction on NRO provides no argument that the original post was wrong.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: